We Are Commanded to Beware, Matt 7:15-20



In several places in our Bible, we are commanded to beware.  We are to be on guard against someone who or something which can destroy us and our faith in Christ.  When you see this word, you should carefully consider of whom or of what the Lord is warning you to beware.  Today, we’re going to discuss these things and people to beware.  We are commanded to beware:

Of False Prophets – Matt 7:15-20.  False prophets are hard to detect if you only look at their appearance because they “come to you in sheep’s clothing.”  They are hard to discern because they speak with good words and fair speeches, Rom 16:17-18.  By their robes, salutations, and prayers most people wouldn’t expect them to be false prophets, Mk 12:38-40.  Unless the Lord had shown you in the Bible, you wouldn’t know that they devour widow’s houses and make their long prayers only for pretense.  You wouldn’t know that they are going to receive greater damnation.  Since they are hard to detect by their appearance, the Lord said, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”  Check the fruits of the Pharisees, for example.  They demanded that the Lord be crucified and they tried to stop the spread of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Check the fruits of the Roman Catholic Church, for example.  They preach a false gospel of works, they martyred millions of Christians, and to this day they stand against missionaries who are trying to lead people to Christ in other countries.

Of Dogs – Phil 3:2, of evil workers, of the concision.  The concision are those who were preaching circumcision for salvation.  They believed a man’s righteousness was in what he did, rather than in what Christ had done for him.  Today, there are still those who preach salvation by works and you need to beware of them.  You also need to beware of the philosophies and vain deceits, Col 2:8, of dogs and evil workers.  They prey on young believers to devour them and turn them away from the truth.  In the Sunday school lesson, we covered many of the philosophies and deceits they use to corrupt your faith in Christ.  See Beware of Philosophies and Vain Deceits.  Some of our children have been devoured by the deceits of these dogs because they didn’t beware and guard themselves against them.

Of the Leaven of Pharisees – Lk 12:1.  The leaven of Pharisees is hypocrisy.  You need to beware of pretending to be someone in Christ that you are not.  Hypocrisy works like leaven.  You pretend a little, at first, and after a while your whole life is a facade.  You present yourself to others the way you want them to see you; not the way you really are.  Jesus said that the Pharisees outwardly appeared righteous but inwardly they were full of hypocrisy and iniquity, Matt 23:28.  By contrast, Jesus complimented Nathanael because he was a man “in whom is no guile,” Jn 1:47.  Some Christians are so hypocritical that they don’t even know that they are hypocrites.  They have played the game so long that they think the game they’re playing is reality.

Of Covetousness – Lk 12:15-21. Covetousness is the desire for possessions.  This desire results in the neglect of your soul.  The more this farmer prospered in the field, the more he bankrupted his soul.  I have seen covetousness destroy many Christians.  They are rich in this world and poor in the next.  Look what happened to the soul of the Israelites in the wilderness as they lusted exceedingly, Ps 106:14-15 and Ps 81:11-12.  God “gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.”  He “gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust.”  I have seen the Lord do this to covetous Christians.  You get what you want and lose what you could have had.  Sad thing is, you don’t know it, and won’t know it until you see later how much you gave up to get what you wanted.

Of Unbelief – Acts 13:38-41.  You must beware of unbelief.  Jesus justifies every person who believes on him.  He died for your sins, was buried, and rose again the third day to save your soul and justify you.  All you must do is believe him.  If you believe on the Lord, you are not condemned.  If you believe not, you are condemned already, Jn 3:18.  Beware of unbelief.  It will damn your soul to hell.  And once you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, don’t let anything or anyone cause you to doubt the truth of the words of God.  Don’t let them cause you to quit believing what God said. 

Conclusion: When the Bible says, “Beware,” you need to beware.  False prophets, dogs, hypocrisy, covetousness, and unbelief will rob you of your fellowship and walk with the Lord.  Unbelief will rob you of your eternity in heaven if neglect your soul and reject Jesus Christ.